Pope Benedict XVI has shared his first words from his very own Twitter account, as promised. The single tweet, sent using an iPad, has already been retweeted thousands of times and marks the start of a number of accounts in various languages — all of which the pope's main account is following. While the pope used an iPad today, he's not adverse to Android either after using a Sony Tablet S to ignite a holiday lighting display last year.
Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
The pope's account is part of a larger push to appeal to (young) people who spend time online, and it's also an attempt to keep the Catholic Church as accessible as possible. The Vatican already has its own Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts, and Benedict has tweeted twice before. However, today marks the first time the pope has shared from his very own Twitter account.
While today's tweet is said to come directly from the head of the Catholic Church, future tweets are expected to be written by aides, and they will chiefly consist of snippets from the pope's speeches. The account will also be used to answer questions fielded from #askpontifex. While there's a chance you could have your question answered by Benedict himself, don't expect to be followed or retweeted. The Vatican's communications advisor said at a press conference earlier this month that "He won’t follow anyone for now... He will be followed."
Update: the pope is now actively tweeting from his main account. One tweet asks followers "how can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?" and another offers advice to over 600,000 followers.